The Sting Is In The Tail

I just came across an article on Marketing VOX that discusses the growing social media backlash against BP. Citing a recent Social Media Influence (SMI) newsletter, the piece points out that, in the days before digital media, companies dealt with the highest rate of protest at the outset of an incident, and what followed was diminishing interest from the press and the general public. Now, in the age of rampant information-sharing, crises build momentum over time and fully ignite as they reach the long tail.

Over the past several weeks, BP has mobilized its messengers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, and according to Marketing Vox, the company has also purchased “oil spill” ad words through Google and Yahoo, with results linking to the BP website. These online effort are being coupled with a $50 million television campaign.

As a professional communicator, I don’t envy the challenge in front of BP’s PR team. This monster has a particularly prickly tail.

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